Naked.

I have been reading through Genesis.  This is one of my favorite books in the Bible.  I probably say this about every book in the Bible, but really Genesis is so good!  Every time I start to read Genesis I have to say my expectations are not very high.  I go into this time of Bible study thinking I have already read these stories so many times why bother reading them…yet again.

Thankfully I pray before I read and ask God to open my heart to what He has prepared for me and I ask Him to show me something new.  I tell you He does every single time.  I end up leaving that time of Bible study so filled with joy because I have learned something new when I least expected to.

So, today in my reading this is what God has really laid on my heart in a new way:

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”  Genesis 3:10

In the chapter before we find a stark contrast to this verse.  In chapter 2 verse 25, the Bible tells us Adam and Eve were both naked and they felt no shame.

What could have possibly happened in just 10 verses to bring that shame?

Satan happened.  Satan deceived Eve, she fell right into his trap and she chose disobedience to God.  In an instant that perfect communion with God was shattered with the shame of their nakedness.

Why did this nakedness bring so much shame?  Their nakedness exposed the truth of what they did.  They disobeyed.  They did the one thing God asked them not to do.  They had the opportunity to choose obedience but instead chose disobedience.

Today, are we afraid to be naked?  I know this word sounds uncomfortable, but I am not talking about taking our clothes off.  I am talking about taking the lies, the sin, the pain, the torment, the doubt, the (insert other here) OFF.

Sometimes I would rather cover myself up with all of these things I was never intended to wear.  I worry that if I take all of these things off, people would see me for what I really feel I am sometimes, a shameful disgrace.  Truth is: Choosing to take off these things exposes the truth of what God has done for me, and you.  

This is something I want everyone to see!  Despite our wrong choices that truly break His heart, Christ surprises us with His love for us.  I would never expect to have fellowship with God after all I have done, but God wants me to be loved by Him and He shows me this love by choosing to send His only Son to die for me all the while knowing the true state of my heart was to choose sin, not Him.  (Romans 5:8).  Knowing this amazing love can help us to remove each piece of shame, exposing the life with Christ we were meant to live.

How incredible that God cared enough for Adam and Eve to provide them with “garments of skin” for clothing to cover the shame of what they had done.  (Gen.3:21) God still cares so much for you and me.  He knows the shame we are going to find ourselves covered in from time to time, but He provides us with a new set of clothing.  This is the clothing I always want to be wearing.  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:12

India: A Piece of My Love Story

When I was in therapy I held tightly onto Genesis 50:20.  My therapist read me this verse one day, and it immediately touched my heart.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives……..Genesis 50:20

While in therapy I was working through a lot of things.  Things that were surely intended to harm me.

Abuse.

That was a big thing I was working through.  Somehow, I found myself smack dab in the middle of an abusive relationship.  I never in a million years thought I would let someone treat me the way he did.  The worse he treated me though, the more I stayed.

Pain.

Every aspect of my body ached with a pain that is truly indescribable.  It is as if every hurtful word, betrayal, and lie was punching me in the waist.  Along with the emotional damage caused by these events, I was left pretty beat up.

Fear.

I lived my life in fear.  I did not know what it was like not to wake up each morning without fear being the first thing on your mind.  I was paranoid 100% of the time.  I would walk down the street and be paralyzed, left trembling in fear if there was a man with a beard headed towards me.

Depression.

I did not even know I was depressed.  However, not being able to get out of bed, not even having the strength to get in the shower some days led me to think I may be.

I could go on and on and on.

All of these things meant for harm, became the very things God would use for good not just one day but every day of my new life in Christ. 

I see my life as many moments.  My favorite moments are witnessing the goodness of God’s saving grace in the lives of precious ones He has brought along my path.

The chapters of harm are pages turned and gone.  The chapters of goodness are ones I want to re-read over and over, praising and thanking God as I flip the next page!  My favorite moment is one found in my favorite chapter of my story with God.

This chapter I like to call the Love Story I Was Made For…

I had been through a true horror story there is no denying this truth.  I believed with all of my heart that God would bring me the most beautiful love story I could ever imagine with a man who would know my story and love me still.  To my pleasant surprise, I found the love story God had planned for me all along in India.  This story is not with a man.  It is with precious lives that God has saved from the grasp of the evil one.  Meeting God’s children who have suffered through the worst harm I never want to imagine, filled my heart with immeasurable joy.  Little did I know, I would share a moment with these girls in which God was using me to show His amazing saving grace to each and every one of them in a tangible and unforgettable way.  Being in India with these girls felt like that is exactly what I was created to be doing.  My heart felt at home in the middle of a foreign, uncomfortable place.  Meeting them proved to be the purpose for all of my pain.  They were the good that God has planned from my harm.  One of the sweet girls that has touched my heart so much, gave me her favorite ring.  This ring symbolizes for me the lives that God is saving.  How thankful I am for a ring to go along with our love story.

I never thought I would be thankful for harm, but thanks to God’s promises I am beyond thankful for harm.  If it weren’t for the harm, I would have never found the love story I was created for with the complete lover of my soul, Jesus Christ.